One of salmon’s greatest qualities is its versatility. From sushi to soufflé, the possibilities seem endless. But is eating raw salmon really okay?
Before you assume you can behave in the manner of a grizzly bear, consider the following.
Unlike most fish and farmed salmon, wild salmon are born in freshwater, live most of their lives out at sea, and then return upstream to their freshwater birthplace to spawn and eventually die. And it’s precisely the freshwater part that can be tricky when eating raw, wild salmon.
This physiological change can mean a greater chance of parasites. But by freezing salmon, any living organism that’s used the salmon as a home — like parasites — will have been killed off. All of our wild-caught salmon is frozen, to lock in freshness.
How to Inspect Whether Your Wild Salmon is Safe To Eat Raw
We never recommend the consumption of raw or undercooked fish — including salmon — because it may increase your risk of foodborne illness.
But if you can’t resist, remember to smell and then touch. A properly frozen and handled wild salmon won’t smell very fishy. Then, once thawed, give your fillet a poke. The salmon’s flesh should bulge in, but then bounce back to its original, firm form.
If your wild salmon has been previously frozen, doesn’t smell very fishy and is firm to touch, you’re in a good spot for your next poké bowl or sashimi.